Earlier today I was talking with my best friend.I can see she is stressed out. She is making a big transition from college to “real life” in just a few short weeks. That is a hard thing to have to face! She even recently went through her first real relationship with a guy who turned out to be an apple with a worm in it. A red apple. I don’t like red apples, for the record.
Anyway I asked her if she was happy and her response was that she was stressed but yeah she was happy but why, she asked. I said happiness is weird. It changes all the time. She tried to get it out of me what point i was trying to make but I couldn’t really figure it out. I then read an amazing blog by one of my friends. (dsutt94.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/guest-post-the-danger-in-being-content/). I had my friend read this post as well and in text she responded,
“I agree that being happy is weird.. like i feel like i am supposed to be happy because i have a great life compared to others and i would feel bad if i said no i wasn’t happy with my life. I am not a kid in Detroit addicted to drugs and looking for their next meal.. I got groceries and i was complaining how I forgot to get milk and an avocado! and I am f***ing sitting in a building on the 14th floor drinking coffee in front of a mac in Boston.. That is so cool and such an experience that most people do not ever get to have and would love to!”
I then asked her, what if you dont compare yourself to other people, are you happy?
“no,” she said.
The word happiness drives me crazy. The concept, even more so. I don’t believe in traditional definitions for words such as this one. Being a server in a restaurant I serve people who look miserable, who look content, who look “happy” all day. Some people could be having a good day, a bad day, a bad year, a good year. Jeez, they could be clinically depressed or they could be bipolar for all I really know. The truth is I can’t measure someones happiness. No one can measure anyone’s happiness. The only person that can is yourself. The way you measure your own happiness is how you look at the meaning of happiness.
From having this conversation with my friend I realized a few things. Happiness, first of all, should not be a comparison to other people. A lot of times my dad would tell me when I was upset, “there are people that are going through much worse, Leanna”. But does that really, internally make anyone change the way I feel or just as my friend said it, just make you feel bad that you aren’t happy. You can compare yourself to anyone or anything. You can compare yourself to that Detroit boy but you could also compare yourself to Kim Kardashian and fall into a deep depression because you didn’t get famous from basically doing absolutely nothing. Comparisons are what we use to trick ourselves into thinking we are happy, or that we should be happy.
Another point is that happiness shouldn’t be defined by the things you own or what you have. I can of course believe that if I had every pair of Nike shoes in every color with matching pants and tops that I would achieve ultimate happiness and be forever happy but in reality it wouldn’t.
If getting everything you wanted and going wherever you wanted (which ultimately comes from having a lot of money which comes from working) people like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan wouldn’t being doing lines of coke almost daily. Happiness I can guarantee anyone, will not be achieved through drugs.
Drugs, comparisons, material items, “dream jobs”… they are all just factors of falsely advertised happiness.
Real happiness, in my opinion, is internal. It is just being the best person I can be, everyday. Having good intentions and making good choices that will benefit me. Making memories and taking risks I can grow from. Learning from others and learning from myself. Doing and saying things that I am afraid to. Being able to say that for every person I pass on the street, talk to, or have a relationship with I try to leave a positive impact on. That is why I believe I am happy.
I have days where I feel sad and angry and have a “why me,” attitude, and those who truly know what I am going through always ask me how I am not like that all the time. But it doesn’t matter about the things I cannot control. I control myself and I make myself the best I can be. Even when I do feel discouraged I have a burning flame inside of me that says I will never be conquered by my own self because I am a great person and I deserve to be the best, most happy version of myself.